Woman of the Century/Eliza Maria Gillespie
GILLESPIE, Miss Eliza Maria, religious devotee, known in the Roman Catholic Church as Mother Mary of Saint Angela, born in Brownsville, Pa.. 21st February, 1824, in the Gillespie homestead, in which was reared a whole family of this name. When a son or a daughter was married, a wing was added to the homestead, in which to establish a new colony. In one of these wings was born James Gillespie Blaine. Eliza Maria was the oldest daughter of John P. and Mary Myers Gillespie. The father died while the children were still young, and their mother removed to Lancaster, Ohio. Eliza Maria was placed in school with the Dominican Sisters in Somerset. Perry county, Ohio, and afterward with the Sisters of the Visitation, in Georgetown, D. C, where she became a favorite for her talents and engaging qualities. She was graduated from that institution with the highest honors. The few years she spent in the world were marked by the most earnest work for the sick and distressed, especially the victims of the cholera in 1849 In 1853 she entered the Congregation of the Holy Cross, taking the name of Saint Angela to be known as "Mother Angela." Almost immediately she sailed for Europe. She made her novitiate in France and took the vows of her religious profession at the hands of Rev. Father Moreau, the founder of the Congregation of the to indicate their part in the national crisis was the Holy Cross. ELIZA MARIA GILLESPIE. In 1855 she returned to the United spiked cannon, sent a few months after to Mother States and was made Superior of the Academy of Angela and her community, as a recognition of St. Mary's, then in Bertrand, Mich., to be removed their services, by the commander of the division in which they labored. From their return from the war, a new energy pervaded the ranks of the Sisters of the Holy Cross. Called for from the Atlantic to the Pacific, from the Northwest to Texas, asylums, hospitals, schools from parochial to academy and normal, were opened by the vigilant and enthusiastic Mother Angela, and their departments were overlooked with an eye to perfection. She was generous to the sick, outside her own wards, to the needy of all sorts. She died 4th March, 1887. A woman of genius, who would have had a brilliant career in the world, "she was," as her cousin, Mrs. Ellen Ewing Sherman, wrote, "one, of whose noble and exalted qualities, loving heart and life of labor for her God, in whose bosom she is at rest, only poets could speak worthily." She was not to be distinguished by one line in her habit or one crimp in her cap from the least in her community, yet standing forth, in the radiance of a life devoted to God and humanity, as a typical American woman as well as a devoted religious one.